Spirits of Sarasota

Cocktail of the Week: Veronica Fish and Oyster's Empress of India

This one mixes good ol' bourbon with some more exotic spices.

By Hannah Wallace November 22, 2016

Veronica empress of india ny5ao0

This week: The Empress of India at Veronica Fish & Oyster

The drink: Bourbon, blackberry, vanilla and star anise. The flavors hit you in waves, with just a hint of sweet-tart blackberry and bourbon up front, then warm vanilla and then the subtle licorice of the star anise lingers way behind everything. It's complex and lovely, a cocktail that insists you take your time with it.

The bar: The Caragiulo's/Owen's Fish Camp/Shore team's foray into Southside Village, Veronica has the same charmingly curated style, in this case a subtly maritime rustic-chic kind of vibe. The marble bar with fixed-in-place padded stools, refreshingly sans televisions, has already become a popular neighborhood hangout.

Food: Boy howdy. In addition to a vast selection of fresh raw oysters and flavorful crudo, the small plates selection is almost too much to choose from. (We went with wood-roasted oysters with uni butter and leek confit, and a side of fries with amazing malt vinegar aioli.)

Other notable potables: The Autumn (cinnamon apple pear vodka and ginger beer) is a refreshing ode to the season. Veronica also serves a rum runner on tap, which is both sweet and powerful.

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